ISO 9000 is a series of standards that comprises a quality system. It helps organisations develop a coherent quality management system that benefits employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Many companies have adopted ISO 9001 guidelines, regardless of size or industry.
Most people are familiar with ISO 9001 and its functions, but ISO 9000 doesn’t receive as much attention. However, ISO 9000 can be incredibly beneficial to any business aiming to meet customer demands. Additionally, it can fulfil regulatory obligations and support continuous improvement. Every organisation should view these standards as a stepping stone or the foundation for a robust quality system.
The main difference between ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 is that ISO 9000 comprises a family or series of quality management standards, whereas ISO 9001 is an individual standard in the family. An essential thing to note is that within the ISO 9000 series of standards exists ISO 9000 as an individual standard, which outlines the vocabulary and fundamentals of QMS. In this post, we will expound more on the difference between the two.
ISO 9000’s main goal is to clarify terms used throughout the other standards. It also incorporates the quality management principles that serve as the foundation for the entire family of standards. The standards are based on the following:
- Leadership- Organisations should establish direction and purpose to help employees achieve objectives.
- Customer focus- Organisations should focus on understanding, meeting, and exceeding customer needs and requirements.
- Process approach- To achieve the desired results, organisations should view activities as a process.
- People’s involvement- Everyone in the company should be involved in the activities of the business.
- System methodology to management- Companies should identify and understand processes for efficient and effective solutions.
- Factual decision-making approach- Organisations should make decisions after carefully analysing data.
- Continual Improvement- Organisations should strive to improve their systems and procedures.
- Valuable merchant relationships- More value is created when everyone in the organisation benefits.
ISO 9001 is a specific standard within the ISO 9000 series. It outlines the requirements for quality management systems (QMS) that businesses must follow when supplying valuable products and services. The QMS outlined in ISO 9001 must be utilised by personnel in the business to maintain a focus on customers and their needs.
A gap analysis and internal audits are necessary to implement a quality management system. The primary objective of these activities is to identify the appropriate actions that need to be taken. The gap analysis involves evaluating the current QMS and comparing it to the new ISO 9001 system, which becomes the new quality management standard.
Completing a gap analysis allows owners and other personnel to identify the differences between their current QMS and the previous one, which enables them to move closer toward their continuous improvement goal. These assessments are typically conducted during the early stages of the ISO 9001 implementation process.
Any company that wishes to implement ISO 9001:2015 should conduct internal audits. This process helps evaluate the effectiveness of the new quality management system and assess whether the company is eligible for certification. This is because ISO 9001 was established to allow business owners to take steps to improve quality assurance by implementing ISO standards. For further opportunities to enhance quality beyond ISO 9001, ISO 9004 can be utilised. However, it’s important to note that only ISO 9001 has a certification body.
The ISO 9000 family of standards is helpful for companies wishing to maintain a higher quality assurance level. For businesses looking to understand specific terminology and standards, ISO 9000 is an excellent resource. On the other hand, ISO 9001 is implemented to ensure that a company is customer-focused and continuously improving. By utilising these globally recognised standards, businesses can ensure that they meet the needs of all stakeholders.
Becoming certified is no small task. It requires training, documentation, and tracking your organisation’s Quality Management System (QMS) processes. Working with an accredited certification institution specialising in this process is advisable.
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